Answers from Our Experts (5)
The Las Vegas Strip is filled with tons of hotels to choose from. As a matter of fact, visitors just might have a hard time picking which hotel to stay at since many resorts offer top-notch accommodations, amenities and over-the-top experiences. No need to feel overwhelmed though, we’ve narrowed down the options for you. Here are five of the best hotels to stay at when in Las Vegas. Located at the exclusive CityCenter complex, Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is a peaceful retreat boasting Asian-inspired décor, magnificent Strip views from its 23rd floor check-in area, a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant by French cuisinier Pierre Gagnaire and a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spa. This triple-threat is an accolade no other Las Vegas hotel has been able to capture. Then, there’s the newly rated ARIA Sky Suites. Roam around in a spacious one-, two- or three- bedroom suite outfitted with contemporary furnishings, floor-to-ceiling windows and state-of-the-art technology. The property also includes its swank Sky Villas, which serve as the ultimate retreat for guests with its private sauna, formal dining room, workout facility and more. Situated atop MGM Grand rests the ultra-luxe Skylofts. This haven includes a butler, entertainment system, personal office, breathtaking Strip vistas and an Infinity tub for some relaxation. Not to mention the hotel includes Joël Robuchon, a ritzy Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star restaurant. On the other end of the busy Las Vegas Strip is business magnate Steve Wynn’s first-class Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star properties Wynn Tower Suites and Encore Tower Suites. Indulge in the lap of luxury at both resorts where everything from sizable rooms, marble floors, classic accouterments, views of the Tom Fazio-designed Wynn Golf Course and pools provide only a few of the hotel’s highlights. But the city is filled with many focal points. Be sure to check out the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star properties, too. They include Bellagio, M Resort Spa Casino, The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino, Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, Wynn Las Vegas, Encore Las Vegas, Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, The Signature at MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Vdara Hotel & Spa, and The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace.
My favorite hotels in Las Vegas are Bellagio Resort & Casino and ARIA Resort & Casino.
I love what The Cosmopolitan is doing as far as its food and beverage program. It took it to another level, and I like being pushed that way. For really cool hotels, I think, of course, Wynn and MGM really do some great stuff inside their walls. I like The Venetian. I think The Mirage is working on things. Mandalay Bay, of course, first and foremost. I’d be remiss if I didn’t count what’s going on here. I think that Mandalay’s really cool. And I love watching the evolution of the rebuilding of the older hotels — older not being that old, but the history of Vegas has been, “Time for something new?” You blow up the building and you build a new one. Now we’re in a different economy and mindset.
I don’t think there’s going to be a new casino built on the Strip for a very long time. But what you’re going to see is a lot more redesign, rebuilding and renewing of the spaces. Stratosphere is going in a new direction right now, and it’s fun to go to. When I first moved to Vegas, going to the Stratosphere was of no interest to me whatsoever. Now, it’s doing some good stuff. The SLS is coming and rebuilding in an old hotel and casino. It’s going to put its brand on that. That’s neat. I can’t wait to see what they do because that’s hip and cool. That’s a continuation of what started, what The Cosmo introduced. So those are pretty much the top hotels that I think are really doing a great job.
In downtown, there’s El Cortez and the Plaza putting more money into re-identifying who they are. I think that’s really cool. We’re starting to reestablish and celebrate our own history, and that’s happening downtown. I think that’s part of the aging and maturing of a city or town. We’re very young. And I love being a part of that.
There's certainly no shortage of hotels in Las Vegas. Depending on how you'd like to spend your stay is how you should determine which hotel is for you.
Feeling rowdy and want to mingle with a young, good looking crowd that seemingly swarms the casino floor in droves? The Cosmopolitan is for you. Poolside you can find great music showcases in the evenings. Bypass that massive line for Marquee on the second floor and head to the third floor for bites from the Secret Pizza joint (down an unmarked hallway) or the club-like environment of STK Steak house.
Feeling like you're in the lap of luxury? Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is center-Strip, non-gaming, and as indulgent as it gets. Guest service is highly lauded at any Mandarin Oriental around the world, and this one is no exception. On the 23rd floor is the Mandarin Bar, offering sweeping views of the Vegas skyline as you sip on one of their signature cocktails, while down the hall Twist by Pierre Gagnaire is an unparalleled fine dining experience.
Feeling like you want a classic Vegas experience with a great location? Look no further than Caesars Palace. Caesars has remained an institution in Las Vegas, and has continued to grow along with the city. Just this year Caesars opened the Nobu Hotel within, along with the largest Nobu restaurant in the world. Also, this is where you can live any version of the film The Hangover you wish (just don't end up on the roof).
The "best" hotel in Las Vegas is the one that best suits your individual needs. So if you have an idea of what you're coming here to accomplish or experience, you have a far greater chance of finding a hotel (or resort, or boutique hotel) that is the perfect fit! For example, if you're attending a conference or convention, the host hotel will almost always be the most convenient—remember: Nothing is as close as it appears! Of course, this might not always be the most cost-effective option. So, look nearby. What is the closest hotel to the host property?
If entertainment is key, resorts such as Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace and the Venetian host some of the greatest live stage shows on the Strip. For proximity to shopping, Treasure Island and Trump are a stone's throw from Fashion Show Mall. For a gambling-free experience, the Forbes Travel Guide 2013 Five-Star winner Mandarin Oriental is a haven for those craving views, exquisite dining at Twist by Pierre Gagnaire and luxurious amenities without the gaming and smoke. And for their sheer concentration of nightlife and daylife opportunities, Wynn and Encore (XS, Tryst, Surrender, Encore Beach Club), MGM Grand (Hakkasan, Wet Republic) and Bellagio (The Bank, Hyde, Lily) put you in the heart of the party action.
But my personal choice for the all-around “best” hotel is the Cosmopolitan. It, too, has hot nightlife (Marquee), concerts by the Boulevard pool and in the soon-to-be-remade Chelsea, some of the finest mixology bars in the city (Vesper, Chandelier, Bond, Neapolitan) and such diverse dining (Comme Ça, Jaleo, Blue Ribbon Sushi, the “secret” pizzeria). Many of the hotel rooms are blessed with balconies offering that iconic mid-Strip view and soaking tubs. If the kitchenette were only stocked, I would never leave!